Nooooooo!!!!! “Crocs Comeback in the Making”

Manolo says, it lives!

The footwear company based in Niwot, Colo., is fighting its way back since being declared “dead” in press reports last year.

After enjoying great success as its shoes flew off shelves and investors snapped up its stock—the company raised more than $200 million in its 2006 stock offering—Crocs stumbled during the recession. Consumers and investors considered the clog—and the company’s stock—a fad that had faded.


Now, Crocs is trying to fashion a comeback. It’s rolling out new, higher-priced shoes that include flip-flops and high heels. Those styles are highlighted in ads. Its traditional clog? It has been turned into an advertising character—two of them, actually—who give foot massages.

It is like the horror movie. Just when you think the monster is dead, there it is, scrabbling at your throat with it’s horny hands.

This week I caught up with Ken Chaplin, vice president of global marketing for Crocs. He was eager to show off its new shoes and boots but he seemed careful to avoid the word “clog.” Instead, he referred to it as “that iconic shoe.”

That Which Must Not Be Named!

Q: You’re still best known for your quirky clog with holes even though you’re also selling boots, high heels and flip-flops. How do you take a brand associated with clogs and stretch it to include many different types of footwear?

Chaplin: We are looked at as a brand but also as an item—a very iconic item in that shoe you mentioned and one that has brand awareness in the United States of over 95%. Our idea was to use that to our advantage. Working with our agency Cramer-Krasselt we came up with this idea on how to bridge the past, that iconic shoe, with the future. With over 250 styles, our best opportunity was to let them know the comfort from our iconic shoe can be found in everything we do.

Allow the Manolo to translate: “Yes, That Which Must Not Be Named nearly destroyed civilization, but look, over there, candy!”

Q. I talk to a lot of folks about how they manage their reputations online but few companies like yours have critics who’ve set up Web sites and Facebook sites against their products. There are 8,000 members of the “I Hate Crocs” Facebook page. Why do some people feel so hostile toward this brand and what do you do about them?

Chaplin: I haven’t seen a lot of new activity on those sites for a while. We have such a great opportunity in the US with people who are open to Crocs. We’re using our efforts to talk to them.

Q. Crocs has been in danger of going the way of many other fads. Is it possible Crocs will show that a fad can have staying power?

Chaplin: We don’t use the ‘F’ word.

You may be certain that the Manolo has already used the ‘F’ word.

11 Responses to “Nooooooo!!!!! “Crocs Comeback in the Making””

  1. Erik Nabler November 12, 2010 at 9:37 pm #

    “You may be certain that the Manolo has already used the ‘F’ word.”

    Hilarious.

  2. aimalyn November 12, 2010 at 10:15 pm #

    While I share your sentiment for the ugly original croc, I must disagree with you about their new styles, and I wonder if you’ve actually looked at them?

    I bought a pair of crocs flats (Kaela) which are VERY cute, as well as being super comfortable. And I have their Ginger wedge mary jane, and I get complimented on it all the time. When I say, “They’re Crocs!” people are amazed.

    I find the original to be very comfortable at work (I’m a nurse) but I hate how ugly they are. Their new shoes are, indeed, as comfortable as the original but are way cuter.

    Kaela: http://www.zappos.com/crocs-kaela-black-black
    Ginger: http://www.zappos.com/crocs-ginger-black
    On my feet: http://plixi.com/p/55770800

  3. cjks November 12, 2010 at 11:11 pm #

    Aaaah, comfortable perhaps, but do those fancy new styles still have the ultimate Crocs feature as frequently advertised–dishwasher-safe? Even the reputedly fashion-challenged DC girls prefer the Louboutin boots for DC wear over dishwasher-safe Crocs.

  4. lazeny November 13, 2010 at 3:38 am #

    I just had to comment about this. I know some Crocs styles can be ugly but some of their designs are really cute. I’m guilty of owning a lot of pairs both ugly and cute. To each their own. And Crocs (as wells as Birkenstocks) helped me w/ dealing w/ pain and foot problems. I just now wear heels/boots when it’s absolutely necessary (weddings, important events) . I’m at the stage where comfort is more important to me than style. You can’t discount that Crocs do give comfort when worn by other people.

  5. Stosh2 November 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm #

    High heeled crocs????? HAHAHAHAHAHA Lord have mercy!

  6. La Petite Acadienne November 13, 2010 at 11:16 pm #

    They are foam shoes. That is just wrong on so many levels. La Petite Acadienne wore the Croc sandals while pregnant, but solely because they were the only “shoes” that would fit her gigantic, swollen, Fred Flintstone-esque feet. At least Birks are made of proper shoe material. I guess I just don’t understand it when people think that their only two shoe choices are uncomfortable heels or bath toy Crocs. Why not get some sneakers? There are some very snazzy runners out there that surely would be just as comfortable (if not more so) than these foam monstrosities.

  7. raincoaster November 14, 2010 at 12:30 am #

    You can’t discount that Crocs do give comfort when worn by other people.

    I can assure you that when other people wear Crocs those of delicate sensibilities feel the opposite of comfort.

  8. dmh November 15, 2010 at 1:11 am #

    The horror… Like Gov Moonbeam, or a bad dog that just keeps coming back…

  9. Anna @ShoeHunting November 15, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    I’m laughing out loud…great interview! Crocs need to go away (IMHO) I will never buy a pair of heels by the “iconic” brand.

  10. Michelle November 15, 2010 at 12:50 pm #

    the following is a list of people who may wear crocs:

    -small children
    -nurses
    -cooks (although I would personally not want to be wearing foam shoes with holes in them if someone had a mishap with a pot of boiling water. But I digress…)
    -gardeners
    -pregnant women (in response to La Petite Acadienne)
    -the blind (who can blame them, they can’t SEE them)

    I work in fashion, and you would not believe how many women actually go out in public wearing these monstrosities (my personal favorite is the faux-fur lined model). No amount of creative marketing will possibly make me go out and purchase a pair of dishwasher safe foam gardening shoes.

    …rant over:)

  11. Landel November 15, 2010 at 10:01 pm #

    I’m with you. I’ve never really appreciated Crocs…